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January 13, 2014

Karl Rove: Christie's BridgeGate News Conference Gives Him "Street Cred" with the Tea Party


I dont think the tea party is going to seize upon Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge as their defining difference for Chris Christie, Rove said. In fact, I think his handling of this, being straightforward, taking action, saying Im responsible, firing the people, probably gives him some street cred with tea party Republicans who say Thats what we want in a leader, someone who steps up and takes responsibility.

I'm not sure if Rove has completely put aside his Analysis role for an Advocate one, and so comes on TV to push his favorite center-leaning candidate, no matter how wrong the spin.

Or if he is this disconnected from the pulse of politics.

The plural of "anecdote" may not be data, but based on my own daily informal survey of where the passion in the conservative wing of the conservative movement is, it remains strongly anti-Christie.

One thing Rove says here is true: that BridgeGate will not define Christie in the Tea Party's eyes. But that's because Christie is already over-defined in the eyes of many Tea Partiers. As I see every day: "Northeastern centrist-liberal RINO," "Gun-grabber," "amnesty-shill," "Islamist judge appointer," "extremely selfish political operator who constantly subverts the movement to advance himself" (see his 2012 RNC speech in which he fulsomely endorsed... nothing).

If there was even any grudging respect for Christie after the press conference, I didn't see it.

BTW, I think people are wrong to rule out Christie categorically. Sometimes the only good option is one you don't particularly like. I could see, for example, a scenario in which conservatism continues to be unpopular at the national level, and Christie (or a similar RINO) might be our only plausible vehicle for winning the White House.

Not saying that will be the case. I'm saying it could be that way. And in that case, a Christie nomination might be our least bad option, with our worst bad option being "run a symbolic candidate who will be doomed on Election Day and curse the nation into another four years of grueling political and economic hell."

But none of that suggests that Christie gained any "street cred" with Tea Partiers. All I see is BridgeGate getting incorporated into the already-substantial list of Christie's disqualifications, with the added bonus of a fresh source of resentment: the feeling that many on the disaffected right have that a non-RINO conservative would be crucified and left for dead by the Establishment over a Christie level blunder, while the Establishment works overtime to keep the RINO viable.

But note that while the Republican Establishment may be trying to resuscitate Christie, your Progressive Media most decidedly is not.

But maybe he's right and I'm wrong: Were any of you who self-identify as Tea Partiers partly won over by Christie's press conference?

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posted by Ace at 12:05 PM

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